In the summer of 2020, Greek and Turkish warships shadowed each other across the eastern Mediterranean as Turkey sent research ships backed by its navy to search for hydrocarbon reserves.
Although there was no direct conflict, the danger was illustrated when a Greek frigate collided with a Turkish warship in August. The standoff also drew in France, the United Arab Emirates and the European Union in defending Greece’s rights in the face of what they declared to be Turkish provocations.
The confrontation led Athens to bolster its naval and air forces with new defense equipment, including 24 French Rafale jets.
Last week, Athens issued a Navtex warning that the Nautical Geo would be operating off the eastern coast of Crete, which Turkey considers its waters and is covered by a 2019 maritime deal between Turkey and Libya. The Navtex expired on Wednesday.
Senior Greek and Turkish officials have met twice this year to discuss their maritime disputes, the first talks on the long-standing issue since 2016.